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ToadOfSteel
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11 Nov 2009, 1:30 am

I now know what I did that really jeopardized my relationship (in fact, in retrospect it's a wonder the relationship is still standing at this point), and why she was worried so much about me pressuring her even though I was trying my hardest not to.

Before I get into that, I need to provide the proper context. See, I'm a very emotional person... emotion is a powerful driving force for me (even if I don't necessarily show it all the time). This holds especially in relationships, where I need to feel the emotion there before I can even think about going through any of the actions involved. Even then, I wasn't planning on even getting anywhere near first base for a good 9-12 months if the relationship even lasted that long, and then only if she was completely comfortable with it (the 9-12 months being how long I would need to feel comfortable enough), and the other bases would take even longer.

So I was talking to a friend of mine about the relationship, and to my pretty much complete shock, I find out that, normally, telling someone you love them is supposed to come somewhere between 2nd and 3rd bases... To me, that sounds backwards: I wouldn't even get into a relationship with someone that I don't love, much less get past two bases. But, apparently, I'm the one who's backwards...

I feel like the world's biggest idiot now... I've just learned that I committed the greatest faux pas ever known to humanity... :scratch: :( At least now I can legitimately say that this has been a learning experience... I just wish I had learned this beforehand...



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11 Nov 2009, 2:17 am

Wait, did you actually say "I love you" to her? I'm unclear on that point. If you did, then I would say yes, your friend is basically right. Although I don't think it has to be in specific ordering with the "bases", saying "I love you" is best kept until some point later in the relationship. I am guessing that you are not one who gets into relationships lightly, and you probably have already decided you love someone at least somewhat before you start up with them (and imo this is something a lot of aspies do). Most people, however, aren't this way. They start relationships to test people out as partners, and only after time do they decide whether or not they actually love the person. This is true even if you already know each other, and particularly true when you are young and most likely have never said it to anyone before (as I'm assuming she hasn't either).

Also, I think it's important to remember how much your emotions probably show without any intent on your part. I am sure you haven't said anything (other than possibly "I love you") that would make her feel you want to push things or make her move faster than her own pace, but if you are this emotionally invested already I have no doubt that she sees it and feels pressured despite your best efforts. It's not something you can control. The only way to reduce it is to actually work on toning down your intense feelings and recognizing that that kind of emotional need from a partner is a very heavy burden to carry for anyone, let alone a very young woman with whom you've been in a relationship for only a short while. And I say this out of experience, as I know I've driven people away by needing them too much too quickly.



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11 Nov 2009, 3:50 am

ToadOfSteel wrote:
So I was talking to a friend of mine about the relationship, and to my pretty much complete shock, I find out that, normally, telling someone you love them is supposed to come somewhere between 2nd and 3rd bases... To me, that sounds backwards: I wouldn't even get into a relationship with someone that I don't love, much less get past two bases. But, apparently, I'm the one who's backwards...


I am not sure if I understand your baseball analogies. If they are the same as wikipedia then I do not think that they are a very good guide.

There are still a lot of people who would want to be married before getting to 2nd or 3rd base. :)

ToadOfSteel wrote:
I feel like the world's biggest idiot now... I've just learned that I committed the greatest faux pas ever known to humanity... :scratch: :( At least now I can legitimately say that this has been a learning experience... I just wish I had learned this beforehand...


No you are not an idiot.

If you have known this person for three years then it is not an unreasonable thing to say.

The point really is how the other person will take it. If she has only known that you 'like' her for a few weeks then it will probably be a bit of a shock to realise that your feelings run so deep.

If you wait until you have very strong feelings before you approach someone, then you have a big head start on them.
They are probably thinking about you in the same way as you thought about them maybe 6 months or a year ago.
She may see you as a nice guy that she doesn't know too much about, though you may feel that you know a lot about her.

You needed to take more time to get to know each other and letting her catch up before dropping 'I love you' on her.
When you know each other well enough you would know when the right time would be.

Don't count bases ;)

So, try to ease up a little. Give her time to catch up to where you are.


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anna-banana
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11 Nov 2009, 4:11 am

I don't get your analogies (could you possibly translate that to some sport that Europeans know? rugby? football? kick boxing? table tennis?) but I don't believe there is an "order". although it might sound a bit weird to say "I love you" to someone in the very beginning of a relationship (I find it hard to imagine that someone might not be freaked out by that) there is no rule when exactly is the time to say it. so don't be beating yourself up.


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Deinonychus
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11 Nov 2009, 8:16 am

Pasted from the other thread:

Quote:
Quote:
She's young, you're young. I don't know her position or life experience, but I'm guessing she's just as unsure about her place in life as any person that age. She may unconsciously sense the pressure from you that her leaving may cause pain and negativity. As has already been said, that's a lot of pressure for someone her age who is just trying it out with you. You don't have to say it in order for her to pick up on it because it's likely to be evident in your nonverbal behaviour if you're feeling it--and you definitely seem to be.

If I am indeed projecting such pressure subconsciously, is there anyway I could stop projecting that? I really don't want her to feel such pressure, but there's no way I'm going to stop feeling as though this is my final hope unless a lot more people in my age range start appearing in my regular life (which as I'm seeing it isn't going to happen)...


Yes, you are projecting such pressure, and the only way to stop it is to stop it with the attitude that you need a relationship to survive and she's your only option.



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11 Nov 2009, 8:20 am

He's talking about juvenile demarcations of sexual activity.



MissConstrue
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11 Nov 2009, 8:42 am

You're not an idiot you are just learning. Don't count this experience as a negative but rather positive in the aspect that you learned something. What makes you less of an idiot is that instead of ranting and blaming her for it, you expressed some dissappointment yet were willing to take into some replies without insult. In other words, you were willing to actually listen and understand it from outside perspective....(at least that's what I saw). In fact, you sound much different from the old Toad in that you were willing to take in some of the suggestions and reitorate the circumstances surrounding your situation.... :D

Try not to think so much in terms of bases but rather timing and the feelings involved. I know that for some of us it's hard because we're a bit blinded by those subtle yet subliminal cues and rules in some of those social games. Yes it isn't such a great idea to tell someone you love them when you're dating. It is like proposing to a stranger that you want to marry them. Dating is not so much love in a sense of experiencing the relationship for what it is but rather what it will be. Although it can depend on the person and like you I've often put too many feelings beforehand. I think much of this has to do with all those intense feelings we lock up when we lack the experience and self esteem to pursue and persist in the dating world. We attach stongly to those who will accept us for our quirky selves and think they are the ones!! ! In reality there are many people out there willing to accept us for who we are but we need to be willing to take that chance and act rather than project and deeply analyze from a distance.

In short, just enjoy the experience and if it doesn't last, take it slowly and one step at a time. Try not to think too much about how that said someone will reject you. I think we're our own worse enemies when it comes to this and it's in our nature to either internalize or externalize our frustrations by blaming the other person or ourselves.


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Stinkypuppy
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11 Nov 2009, 9:06 am

Well said, MissConstrue :)


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ToadOfSteel
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11 Nov 2009, 10:14 am

MissConstrue wrote:
You're not an idiot you are just learning. Don't count this experience as a negative but rather positive in the aspect that you learned something. What makes you less of an idiot is that instead of ranting and blaming her for it, you expressed some dissappointment yet were willing to take into some replies without insult.

Why in the world would I blame her for a faux pas that I committed? :scratch: That makes next to no sense at all...

Quote:
In other words, you were willing to actually listen and understand it from outside perspective....(at least that's what I saw). In fact, you sound much different from the old Toad in that you were willing to take in some of the suggestions and reitorate the circumstances surrounding your situation.... :D

Well he wasn't going on about how I should abandon my entire social network like some people here were saying, so I was more willing to listen to him...

Quote:
Try not to think so much in terms of bases but rather timing and the feelings involved.

My friend explained it to me in terms of bases which is why I was using such analogies in the OP. But the gist of what he is saying is that normal people put a significant amount of physical interactions (including at the very least kissing) before love. Or, as a verbatim quote: "You kiss someone you're attracted to, you **** someone you love". Which to me just doesn't feel right... I need to love before I even get into a relationship to begin with...

Quote:
I know that for some of us it's hard because we're a bit blinded by those subtle yet subliminal cues and rules in some of those social games. Yes it isn't such a great idea to tell someone you love them when you're dating. It is like proposing to a stranger that you want to marry them. Dating is not so much love in a sense of experiencing the relationship for what it is but rather what it will be. Although it can depend on the person and like you I've often put too many feelings beforehand. I think much of this has to do with all those intense feelings we lock up when we lack the experience and self esteem to pursue and persist in the dating world. We attach stongly to those who will accept us for our quirky selves and think they are the ones!! ! In reality there are many people out there willing to accept us for who we are but we need to be willing to take that chance and act rather than project and deeply analyze from a distance.

Well to me it just feels more natural to put the feelings before the actions, because the idea of performing the actions without the feelings makes me feel really uneasy (and I wonder how in the hell it's considered "normal")...

Quote:
In short, just enjoy the experience and if it doesn't last, take it slowly and one step at a time. Try not to think too much about how that said someone will reject you. I think we're our own worse enemies when it comes to this and it's in our nature to either internalize or externalize our frustrations by blaming the other person or ourselves.

Well I am taking it one step at a time, it's just that apparently i'm taking the steps out of order with respect to everyone else...



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11 Nov 2009, 10:39 am

ToadOfSteel wrote:
My friend explained it to me in terms of bases which is why I was using such analogies in the OP. But the gist of what he is saying is that normal people put a significant amount of physical interactions (including at the very least kissing) before love. Or, as a verbatim quote: "You kiss someone you're attracted to, you **** someone you love".


Your friend is talking about himself, not anyone else.



Stinkypuppy
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11 Nov 2009, 10:45 am

I don't want to speak for MissConstrue (hehe), but...

ToadOfSteel wrote:
Why in the world would I blame her for a faux pas that I committed? :scratch: That makes next to no sense at all...

I think MissConstrue is simply remarking that you could've easily faulted her for your own missteps, like a lot of people do.

Quote:
Well he wasn't going on about how I should abandon my entire social network like some people here were saying, so I was more willing to listen to him...

MissConstrue is referring to a different and specific circumstance: to listen and understand your misstep from an outside perspective. Neither MissConstrue nor I advocate abandoning your current social network.

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I need to love before I even get into a relationship to begin with...

... which is a fair statement, but after all, you were friends with this girl for several years before moving to the next level. I wouldn't necessarily fault you for telling her that you love her when you did, but her reaction may give you an indication of how she feels about that emotion, and/or whether she is ready for it. While timing is important, this situation isn't completely like telling a stranger whom you don't know that you love her.

Quote:
Well I am taking it one step at a time, it's just that apparently i'm taking the steps out of order with respect to everyone else...

It's not that the steps are out of order, it's that when you say something very emotionally heavy like "I love you", it's best to say it when you are absolutely sure that the other person will respond in kind or at the very least be positively receptive of the statement. Otherwise if she is not sure how she feels about you, or is not ready for the love you want to give, she will get scared and run for the hills. On top of that, you'll get really hurt by her reaction. The timing is mostly to spare the feelings of both of you.


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MissConstrue
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11 Nov 2009, 10:50 am

Stinkypuppy wrote:
I don't want to speak for MissConstrue (hehe), but...

ToadOfSteel wrote:
Why in the world would I blame her for a faux pas that I committed? :scratch: That makes next to no sense at all...

I think MissConstrue is simply remarking that you could've easily faulted her for your own missteps, like a lot of people do.

Quote:
Well he wasn't going on about how I should abandon my entire social network like some people here were saying, so I was more willing to listen to him...

MissConstrue is referring to a different and specific circumstance: to listen and understand your misstep from an outside perspective. Neither MissConstrue nor I advocate abandoning your current social network.

Quote:
I need to love before I even get into a relationship to begin with...

... which is a fair statement, but after all, you were friends with this girl for several years before moving to the next level. I wouldn't necessarily fault you for telling her that you love her when you did, but her reaction may give you an indication of how she feels about that emotion, and/or whether she is ready for it. While timing is important, this situation isn't completely like telling a stranger whom you don't know that you love her.

Quote:
Well I am taking it one step at a time, it's just that apparently i'm taking the steps out of order with respect to everyone else...

It's not that the steps are out of order, it's that when you say something very emotionally heavy like "I love you", it's best to say it when you are absolutely sure that the other person will respond in kind or at the very least be positively receptive of the statement. Otherwise if she is not sure how she feels about you, or is not ready for the love you want to give, she will get scared and run for the hills. On top of that, you'll get really hurt by her reaction. The timing is mostly to spare the feelings of both of you.


Thanks StinkyPuppy, you got it.

I apologize if this came off insulting or something. It isn't very easy for me to explain in the most articulate words.


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Stinkypuppy
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11 Nov 2009, 11:14 am

MissConstrue wrote:
Thanks StinkyPuppy, you got it.


You're welcome, MissConstrue 8)


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11 Nov 2009, 12:07 pm

I think your friend was making generalizations about relationships that don't necessarily apply to your specific situation. In your situation, you've known this girl for several years, and clearly have considered her potential gf material for a while. In a situation where people who have been long-time friends begin to date, I don't think it would be unusual for a person to have strong feelings at the very beginning of the romantic relationship.

I think what you probably do understand (at this point), is that because you've developed those strong feelings doesn't mean that the young lady has. She may think you're a great guy, but perhaps she's only beginning to evaluate you as a romantic partner - and that will take as long as it takes. Be patient with her, and remind yourself that her process of transitioning from friend to romance isn't the same as your process. You made the transition before you started dating - she's making it as you date. There's nothing wrong with either approach - they're just different.

I think it's important to realize, however, that when people date, a physical relationship very often precedes any real emotional connection. I'm not endorsing that, I'm just saying it's typically what happens. Most people in relationships kiss before they've fallen in love. It's rather unfortunate, but lots of people are willing to engage in all kinds of sexual activity without being in love or committed to their partner. I think it's actually kind of great that you want to be emotionally committed before you get involved physically...just be aware that because someone is willing to do something sexual with you doesn't translate into feeling love for you. Sad, but true.



ToadOfSteel
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11 Nov 2009, 12:57 pm

^Well now I'm finding all that out... it's just that before yesterday the possibility of being in a relationship with someone you didn't even love didn't even cross my mind, and to be honest the concept still sounds alien to me...

I'm willing to wait as long as it takes... and no, I'm not saying that to be desperate, I'm saying that because, honestly, she's worth waiting a long time for... And seeing as how the relationship is somehow still (miraculously) standing, that possibility still exists...